I was watching former FBI agent Clint Watt discuss the impact social media has been having on politics yesterday when he pulled up a slide showing the ever-increasing divide between liberal and conservative in this country.
Watt’s an expert on how radical groups and foreign governments use social media to better manipulate those most susceptible to their messaging. He warns our political parties are learning fast how to do the same. Watch
At the 25:00 minute mark, he begins to talk about the ever greater divide in our politics.
At the 26:00 minute mark he refers to a series of graphs that show how we’ve gone from a nation with a fairly wide middle to a more bimodal distribution (a greater division between liberal and conservative).
What he fails to recognize is which group moved further to its extreme.
Look at the third graph and note how the area under the red (conservative) is shorter and wider than the area under the blue. The blue (liberal) area has a higher, narrower peak and has shifted considerably to the left, leaving few in the middle. That doesn’t mean there are more liberals, only that fewer of those who would identify themselves as on the left can be found in the middle.
I believe the graphs came from “The Economist” and was based on a survey done last year by Pew Research. Here
The point? When people declare that the democratic party has left them, they’re not exaggerating. While those who are conservative spread more evenly from the center to the right, liberals are increasingly coming to a consensus of values not shared by those more prone to the center. Liberals have shifted considerably to left over the last 13 years.